Enterotoxaemia in goats

Francisco A Uzal, W. R. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Enterotoxaemia of sheep and goats occurs worldwide, but the condition in goats is poorly understood. The disease in goats is mostly caused by Clostridium perfringens type D, although the role of the toxins of this microorganism in the pathogenesis of the disease is not fully understood. The disease occurs in three forms, peracute, acute and chronic, the cardinal clinical sign of the acute and chronic forms being diarrhoea. The main biochemical alterations are hyperglycaemia and glycosuria, while at necropsy the disease is often characterized by haemorrhagic colitis. The typical histological changes observed in the brain of sheep with enterotoxaemia are not considered to be a common feature of enterotoxaemia in goats. Although the pathogenesis of caprine enterotoxaemia has not yet been properly defined, it is usually accepted that the presence of C. perfringens type D in the small bowel, together with a sudden change to a diet rich in carbohydrates, is the main predisposing factor for the disease. Vaccination seems to be poorly effective in preventing caprine enterotoxaemia, which might be due to the fact that the enteric form of the disease is partially independent of circulating C. perfringens toxin. More studies are needed on caprine enterotoxaemia, especially of its pathogenesis and immunity, in order to develop more efficient control measures for this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-492
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Research Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Aetiology
  • Clostridium perfringens type D
  • Control
  • Diagnosis
  • Enterotoxaemia
  • Epidemiology
  • Epsilon toxin
  • Goat
  • Immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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